Bill Ford: Mustang-inspired electric crossover 'going to go like hell'

When Ford Motor Co. was attempting to dethrone Ferrari on the racetrack at Le Mans, then-President Henry Ford II had one directive for his drivers: "Go like hell."

More than a half-century later, Hank the Deuce's nephew called on that phrase to help define the company's first battery-electric crossover, due out next year.

Speaking Monday at the "Crain's Detroit Business" Newsmaker of the Year luncheon, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said the Mustang-inspired vehicle "is going to go like hell."

The callback to that phrase isn't an accident. It underscores a change in strategy for how Ford views its EVs. The company's early forays into electrification included now-discontinued vehicles such as the Focus Electric and C-Max plug-in hybrid that were known more for their fuel economy than performance capabilities.

"When we first started talking about electrification, there was this thought that there had to be a trade-off: It was either going to be green and boring and no fun, or really exciting but burn a lot of fossil fuels," Ford said. "Electrification has come to the point that you can do both."

The vehicle will have a range of more than 300 miles. Production was originally slated for Flat Rock, Mich., near Detroit, but Ford last year decided instead to build the vehicle in Mexico.

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